Fort Donelson was a fortress built by the Confederacy during the American Civil War to control the Cumberland River leading to the heart of Tennessee, and the heart of the Confederacy.
Military - Historic - Forts and Batteries, Military - Historic - Battlefield
It was garrisoned by the Confederacy until 1862 when Union General Ulysses S. Grant and his army captured it during a brutal winter offensive to cut the confederacy in two by controlling the Mississippi River. (see Battle of Fort Donelson)
The fort was attacked again on August 25, 1863 by a Confederate force demanding its surrender, but it was repulsed.
Bushrod Johnson men of the Corps of Engineers, approved the site. Construction was begun by a large force of men brought from the nearby Cumberland Iron Works.